Gov't secures 2.4 million doses to counter foot and mouth disease

The state minister for Animal Husbandry, Rtd Col. Bright Rwamirama has revealed that the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry (MAAIF) has procured 2,400,000 doses to vaccinate animals in 24 districts hit by foot and mouth disease (FMD).

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a viral disease that affects cattle, goats, sheep and pigs among the domestic animals. It also affects the related cloven (two) hooved wild animals like the buffaloes, antelopes and wild pigs.

FMD vaccination is currently being undertaken in 24 districts that include; Gomba, Isingiro, Kalungu, Kampala, Kazo, Kiboga, Kiruhura, Kiryandongo, Kyankwanzi, Kyotera Koboko, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Masindi, Mukono, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Rakai, Rubirizi, Sembabule, Ibanda and Serere.

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According to Annual Agriculture Survey of  2018, Uganda ha livestock population estimates of  cattle 12.1 million heads, goats 15.2 million heads, sheep 5.4 million and pigs 5 million, which translates to 37.7 million livestock that are susceptible to FMD. This is in addition to the wild life that is susceptible to FMD and the fact that there are four serotypes that are common in Uganda.

“Livestock farmers and the general public are hereby advised to take note of these control measures that have been put in place by the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to address the Foot and Mouth Disease in affected districts,” he said.

The minister urged affected farmers to ensure hygienic milking methods, report the disease to the nearest veterinarian and alert neighbors about it, have the affected animals isolated from the rest of the herd and avoid taking animals to the communal grazing and watering areas and the neighbors should avoid communal grazing and watering during the time of FMD outbreaks.

He also said that the affected animals should be properly treated by a competent veterinarian using appropriate drugs to avoid secondary bacterial infections and complications.

“Check points with disinfection shall be established along the major routes entering or exiting the affected sub county and they will be manned by the local council personnel, the police the parish chiefs and other law enforcement personal supervised and coordinated by the area veterinarian,” he said.

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